Dr. ir. Charlotte Grootaert

charlottegrootaert-jpgLab coordinator Cellular and Molecular Activities

Charlotte Grootaert is an expert in human-derived cell culture model development for the study of food bioactives and contaminants, in the field of intestinal and chronic Western-type diseases.

By application of these models under relevant physiological conditions, such as inclusion of the food and digestive systems, she pursues to bridge the gap between food producers and nutritionists by providing in vitro screening models suitable for mechanistic research.

Charlotte Grootaert obtained an MSc. (2005) and PhD (2011) in Bioscience Engineering at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, in collaboration with the Ghent University Hospital. After obtaining her PhD, she was a doctor-assistant at the Laboratory of Food Chemisty and Human Nutrition (2011-2018)

During her post-doc period, she started up the cell culture activities at the department, where models for in vitro bioavailability and bioactivity of food compounds (polyphenols, peptides, carotenoids, sugars, micronutrients, ...) were developed, with particular focus on their compatibility with food and digestive matrices.

Nowadays, the evolution from conventional cell culture techniques to 3D setups and coculture of different cell types are envisaged, where the intestinal barrier is combined with liver, endothelial, immune cells etc. in order to take into account the cellular crosstalk mechanisms involved in health.

Currently, she is coordinating the research and practical arrangements for cell culture and molecular activities at the department of Food Technology, Safety and Health. She also assists in project writing and integration of innovative applications of the developed models, guidance of researchers and students, and is involved in the practical exercises for the courses of Human Nutrition, Functional Foods and Microbial Molecular Techniques.

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Dr. ir. Charlotte Grootaert